Ransom

by

David Malouf

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Hector Character Analysis

Hector is Priam’s eldest son, and thus the Crown Prince of Troy. He is also the city’s greatest warrior, so his death at Achilles’s hands essentially seals Troy’s downfall. By the time Ransom begins, Hector is already dead, and Achilles has dragged his body back to the Greek camp in revenge for Hector’s killing of Patroclus. Hector’s surviving relatives describe him as a proud and loyal defender of his father and country, but he himself appears only in a flashback to his duel with Achilles, during which he uses his final breath to predict Achilles’s own impending death. Interestingly, however, Hector appears to say this out of a sense of camaraderie rather than anger, foreshadowing Achilles’s own change of heart: after Priam’s visit, Achilles comes to see Hector as a worthy opponent and (perhaps more importantly) fellow human being.

Hector Quotes in Ransom

The Ransom quotes below are all either spoken by Hector or refer to Hector. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Fate, Chance, and Change Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Vintage edition of Ransom published in 2009.
Part 1 Quotes

[B1] He was waiting for the rage to fill him that would be equal at last to the outrage he was committing. That would assuage his grief, and be so convincing to the witnesses of this barbaric spectacle that he too might believe there was a living man at the centre of it, and that man himself.

Related Characters: Achilles, Patroclus, Hector
Page Number: 27
Explanation and Analysis:
Part 2 Quotes

This time, when I look behind me, what is glowing out from under the coverlet…is the body of my son Hector, all his limbs newly restored and shining, restored and ransomed.

Related Characters: Priam (speaker), Hector
Related Symbols: Ransom
Page Number: 56
Explanation and Analysis:
Part 4 Quotes

[Death] is the hard bargain life makes with us—with all of us, every one—and the condition we share. And for that reason, if for no other, we should have pity for one another's losses.

Related Characters: Priam, Achilles, Patroclus, Hector
Related Symbols: Ransom
Page Number: 184
Explanation and Analysis:

What he feels in himself as a perfect order of body, heart, occasion, is the enactment, under the stars, in the very breath of the gods, of the true Achilles, the one he has come all this way to find.

Related Characters: Achilles, Hector
Page Number: 190
Explanation and Analysis:

This is the first world we come into, he thinks now, his world of hot-water pitchers and oil jars and freshly laundered linen or wool. And the last place we pass through before our body is done with it all. Unheroic thoughts.

Related Characters: Achilles, Hector
Related Symbols: Earth and Water
Page Number: 193
Explanation and Analysis:
Part 5 Quotes

Look, he wants to shout, I am still here, but the I is different. I come as a man of sorrow bringing the body of my son for burial, but I come also as the hero of the deed that till now was never attempted.

Related Characters: Priam, Hector
Page Number: 209
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Ransom LitChart as a printable PDF.
Ransom PDF

Hector Character Timeline in Ransom

The timeline below shows where the character Hector appears in Ransom. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 1
Fate, Chance, and Change Theme Icon
Identity, Humanity, and Mortality Theme Icon
...embrace it, which is why he keeps returning to the beach with his “ghosts”—Patroclus and Hector. (full context)
Fate, Chance, and Change Theme Icon
Identity, Humanity, and Mortality Theme Icon
...lead, but began to question Achilles’ actions as the Trojans, under the command of Prince Hector, gained more and more ground against the Greeks. Eventually, Achilles and Patroclus argued, and Achilles... (full context)
Fate, Chance, and Change Theme Icon
Identity, Humanity, and Mortality Theme Icon
After tending to Patroclus’s body, Achilles sought out Hector for a duel to the death. In the ensuing battle, because Hector had taken Patroclus’s... (full context)
Identity, Humanity, and Mortality Theme Icon
The Epic and the Everyday Theme Icon
...again orders them to ready his horses and chariot while he himself goes to retrieve Hector’s body, which the gods have restored to an unblemished state. Furious, Achilles once more ties... (full context)
Part 2
Identity, Humanity, and Mortality Theme Icon
Language, Storytelling, and Empathy Theme Icon
...is having difficulty sleeping, as he has for the past eleven days since his son Hector’s death.  He suffers from nightmares of Troy in flames, and is tormented by grief not... (full context)
Fate, Chance, and Change Theme Icon
...continues to wait for the god’s arrival, he recalls the moment he saw Achilles kill Hector and defile his body. Priam ran down to the city gates and poured dirt over... (full context)
Identity, Humanity, and Mortality Theme Icon
Language, Storytelling, and Empathy Theme Icon
The Epic and the Everyday Theme Icon
...two embrace in silence before Priam tentatively broaches his reason for coming, saying that since Hector’s death, all they have been able to do is grieve. Hecuba, however, retorts that she... (full context)
Fate, Chance, and Change Theme Icon
Identity, Humanity, and Mortality Theme Icon
The Epic and the Everyday Theme Icon
...disturbed and objects that Achilles will never agree to Priam’s terms, as he already ignored Hector’s request that the winner of the duel return his opponent’s body for burial. Priam responds... (full context)
Fate, Chance, and Change Theme Icon
Identity, Humanity, and Mortality Theme Icon
...needs to “ransom” himself for the second time in his life by going to retrieve Hector’s body. Hecuba remains unconvinced, and asks Priam to avoid making a final decision until after... (full context)
Identity, Humanity, and Mortality Theme Icon
Language, Storytelling, and Empathy Theme Icon
The Epic and the Everyday Theme Icon
...to indulge human feelings; giving in to them, he suggests, would be an insult to Hector’s memory. Tactfully, Priam replies that he understands Deiphobus’s concerns, but that he nevertheless feels he... (full context)
Fate, Chance, and Change Theme Icon
The Epic and the Everyday Theme Icon
...the ransom onto the cart, those who are watching feel as if they are witnessing Hector’s body taking shape. Hecuba calls for water and wine, and Priam makes an offering to... (full context)
The Epic and the Everyday Theme Icon
...somberly in the afternoon to see who has survived. No fighting has taken place since Hector’s death, however, so the procession leaving the palace attracts all of Troy’s attention. Even the... (full context)
Part 4
Identity, Humanity, and Mortality Theme Icon
...his appeal, asking Achilles how he would feel if his own son Neoptolemus were in Hector’s place. As Priam continues, he says he never imagined he would be in the position... (full context)
Fate, Chance, and Change Theme Icon
Identity, Humanity, and Mortality Theme Icon
Language, Storytelling, and Empathy Theme Icon
...begging him and pulls him to his feet, telling him that he will give him Hector’s body. (full context)
Fate, Chance, and Change Theme Icon
Identity, Humanity, and Mortality Theme Icon
Leaving Priam in the care of his men, Achilles goes to retrieve Hector’s body. Automedon sets up a stool for Achilles to sit on in front of the... (full context)
Fate, Chance, and Change Theme Icon
The Epic and the Everyday Theme Icon
Achilles follows as his grooms take Hector’s body to a laundry room to be washed and shrouded. The female servants there are... (full context)
Fate, Chance, and Change Theme Icon
...Priam’s honor. The two men ate dinner together, negotiating a truce of eleven days for Hector’s funeral, and the promise of even this brief interval of peace pleased Priam. Nevertheless—and despite... (full context)
Part 5
Identity, Humanity, and Mortality Theme Icon
The Epic and the Everyday Theme Icon
...cart, and the king climbs down, walking around to the back of the wagon to Hector’s body. Somax hears Priam crying and thinks about the night he and his wife spent... (full context)